Letters to My Younger Self: Wordsmith

Wordsmith (n): a skilled user of words

Being a wordsmith isn’t completely advantageous.

When I see misspelled words, the urge to correct them grips my fingers in a paralysis unbeknownst to anyone but me.

When I am not given a pen or keyboard, my mouth refuses to cooperate, leaving my words eternally unspoken.

When I find the right words, the opportunity to use them has already passed. But this isn’t one of those times.

***

The words flowed from my heart, a river of pain and constant conflict, all for what?

“Love?”

***

Love.

I saw it in the smile of a classmate as she greeted her father, knowing he would be proud of all she had accomplished.

Love.

I heard it in the voice of my sister as she spoke to me in a tone of sheer admiration.

Love.

I smelled it in a grocery store bakery in the fruits of someone’s craft, fresh out of the oven, made with a care and kindness that my young eyes had never witnessed.

Love.

I tasted it in the sweetened grape medicine coating my reddened throat as I was told to rest.

Love.

“I have never felt it.”

***

I remember being an infant in a playpen, inquisitive eyes looking down at me.

I remember being a scared five-year-old, huddled up on the couch as my mother looked on.

I remember being a seven-year-old, a mess, tripping over my words so much I’m surprised that they thought I was smart.

I remember being an eleven-year-old, hearing talk of dieting and exercise and “how much do you weigh?” and not understanding why it was so important.

I remember being a thirteen-year-old, staring up at my math teacher’s frown as I got a “C” on a test for the second time and not realizing that this would become a pattern.

I remember being a fourteen-year-old, my mother’s scolding entering one ear and coming out the other after I got sick at school, only wanting someone to have a pinch of sympathy.

I remember being a sixteen-year-old, getting all of the answers right and as many “A’s” as I could muster while juggling as many interests as possible, hoping for someone to give a word of “congratulations”.

I do not remember being held, or comforted, or praised, or any other form of “love” that didn’t seem inherently fake, so on the day I realized that I was in love with the most beautiful, smart, talented, astonishing girl in the world, I became a prisoner.

***

“I’m sorry.”

***

Those were the two words I hated most, yet the clanging of my chains reminded me that I had to say them, though I had no idea what I was apologizing for.

***

“Huh?”

***

Was my response as the darkness took me in, showed me what it was really like to feel love, then spit me back out again, all in a single moment.

***
“I said-”

***
I began. No, I was not a prisoner, I was a slave to my own body that would not accept my words, but instead spit out as many sarcastic remarks, stutters, and tears as possible as if its only purpose was to humiliate me.

***

“I know.”

***

Were the two words I never said, was never allowed to say, because humility and selflessness came first, spoken words came out with an arrogant tone, and when I asked myself why I was about to write those two words I realized that I was just lying, lying for the sake of lying because I had nothing, was nothing, wanted nothing, felt nothing.

***

“They were all lies.”

***

Was what the darkness whispered in my ear, making me question every decision, every act, every movement, until I was trapped, trapped in this endless cycle of-

***

Indiscernible noise

***

Stop, stop, stop, someone do something, I don’t know what is truth or what is lie, what is fact or what is fiction, what is reality or what is pure nonsense. Please, someone, get me out of here!

***
The problem with being a wordsmith is that you’re always smithing words, until you’ve dug yourself into a hole of fabrication- your own fabrication.

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5 thoughts on “Letters to My Younger Self: Wordsmith

  1. This is so strong and so very well written . Being gifted often brings a sense of alienation because so much is sensed , perceived , and known, and it can take a while to find ways to share and communicate it that others can hear.

    Like

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